Jim Cooper, a Tennessee Democratic Representative, gave an interview to a local newspaper Tuesday on his thoughts about the upcoming elections and the future direction of the Democratic Party in Tennessee.
Cooper’s predictions were not optimistic. He claimed that the party was “facing extinction” and that Democrats do not have a strategy to appeal to rural voters.
Cooper complained to the Nashville Scene that “as usual, Democrats don’t pay attention to future dangers.” “The 100-year-old trend towards the other party is the greatest danger we face in an off-year election after we win the White House.” Redistricting is a small potato compared to this historical trend.
Cooper answered the question “hope isn’t a strategy” when asked if he believes the Democrats will be competitive long-term. Cooper criticized the state party’s management and said that Tennessee Democrats needed a change of direction.
Cooper stated, “Their strategy was blind hope.” Many of the people you are probably hearing have never been to these countries. These people are not their kin. Their closest friends are not from there. I was born in Nashville but raised in Shelbyville.
Cooper maintained that he will not stop working, even though he is retiring at the end of his term. Cooper expressed an interest in helping the party but stated that he is more focused on his own ventures.
“I want to always be helpful and available, but I also plan to get a job and become a productive citizen. You can’t get it handed to you. It’s up to you to learn it, practice it, and become proficient at it. Then we can add the finishing touches. Cooper stated that there are many people who today want this stuff. But life isn’t like that. It’s important to make some money. Productivity is important. It is important to pay taxes. The organization of your life is through work. Because work is enjoyable, work is meaningful, and work is important, I intend to continue working until my death.
“It is important to communicate with your constituents and not be their boss. They are your representative. This formula must be perfected. The Democratic Party of Tennessee is in danger of extinction. For a long time, we’ve been in a steep downhill slide. Tennessee has the lowest number of statewide elected officeholders than any other state. The only way to climb is through Memphis, which isn’t nearly as successful as Nashville. This fits the Republican strategy perfectly. They want to ghettoize the state Democratic Party.
Cooper has repeatedly clashed with left-leaning and more progressive Democrats. Some within the party tried to replace Cooper with their own.
Odessa Kelly was a progressive candidate supported by Justice Democrats and sought to defeat Cooper in 2020. Although she boasted endorsements by key Democrats, Kelly had a history on social media of inflammatory posts, including calls to violence against Republican legislators.
Kelly, who was attempting to challenge Cooper in the primary challenge, posted a list on Facebook of possible agenda items for the first 100 days of the new administration.
It included standard Democratic demands for stimulus checks, packing of the Supreme Court, and student loan forgiveness. There were also jokes about attacking GOP leaders.
“Day 9: Allow Pelosi and Detroit’s best pimps to Smack Ted Cruz (and the rest uv’em y’all know which ones)!” She wrote.